Interview with Lee Winter author of The Brutal Truth and book giveaway

Happy Monday!

I’m super excited to welcome today’s guest. Lee Winter is a fabulous author and it’s an honor to have her on I Heart Lesfic.

Lee is giving away one copy of her latest The Brutal Truth to a lucky winner.

Please welcome the wonderful Lee Winter.

Before we begin, thanks so much for stopping by today for a chat.

Thanks for having me. 🙂

You started out as a journalist. Was it difficult to make the jump from nonfiction to fiction?

The hardest thing was believing I could do it. Non-fiction writing (in the journalism sense) is very different from fiction and I had this view that novelists were these otherworldly, legendary wordsmiths, and I was hardly that.

Once I jumped into it, I was also forever having to remember not to cut to the chase to soon, to add adjectives, not to have too many short sentences or be too punchy. The best analogy between fiction and journalism is the difference between rolling gradually up to a stop sign, head out the window, enjoying the sun, smelling the roses the whole way there, instead of screaming up at break-neck speed, and hurling on the brakes at the last moment. Journalism is right to the point with few fancy bits added.

What type of stories do you prefer reading?

I love humor, like Gill McKnight’s Wallops books. Of late I am crazy in love with three upcoming books from new Ylva authors that include my favorite thing in the world – ice queens. Lola Keeley’s Music and the Mirror, a sassy ballet romance; Roslyn Sinclair’s Lily and the Crown, technically a space pirate story, but it’s a brilliant and unexpected romance. And Jess Lea’s first erotica book, The Taste of Her, which contains the most delicious lingerie shop story, Severina. Sigh. I’ve read that one over a dozen times.

You have a goal to write a story in every lesfic subgenre. Can you list which subgenres you’ve conquered? Which one is next? And is there one that intimidates you?

I have done a mystery (The Red Files), thriller/crime noir (Requiem for Immortals), erotic romance (Flashbang – short story addition to Red Files), fantasy (Shattered), romantic suspense (Love is Not Nothing – short story Requiem sequel), and just finished is my first full-on romance, The Brutal Truth. Next is The Red Files sequel, Under Your Skin, which I can’t yet decide if it is more a romance or a mystery.

The genre which does my head in is horror or anything scary. I am too much of a scaredy-cat to touch it.

Your latest release The Brutal Truth is about an Australian crime reporter. Are there biographical bits in the story?

Oh God yes. At the very start of the book, I stalk the pages. When I was nineteen, my newspaper sent me out of state to work in the Melbourne bureau. It was my first time away from home, first time in a really big city, and I was intimidated, sad, and lonely. I worked the midnight shift and was pretty much left on my own. So when Maddie, one of my protagonists in Brutal Truth, has to do a midnight shift on a paper in New York, there wasn’t a lot of research required. Her homesickness was my homesickness. But that was where it ended. I don’t think I fell in love with a smoking-hot, media mogul ice queen. Hmm. I’d like to think I’d remember that…

I read that your novel The Red Files was inspired by His Girl Friday (one of my all-time faves). What inspired The Brutal Truth? 

A long time ago I played around as a fanfic writer in the Devil Wears Prada universe.  I loved (and still do) Miranda Priestly, the ultimate ice queen. I wrote a fanfic once about a truth bet, where Miranda and her besotted assistant, Andy, have to tell each other the truth, but it backfires. That aspect of the story lies at the very heart of this Brutal Truth novel. But everything else, about two-thirds of the book, is all new. And the characters have quite different personalities to Miranda and Andy. But I really loved the idea of that truth bet and how secrets we don’t expect come spilling out.

Out of all the characters you’ve created do you have a favorite?

Natalya/Requiem from Requiem for Immortals. She’s a powerful voice who some days still whispers in my head. Although Catherine Ayers, from Red Files, still owns my ovaries. She’s a goddess with a sharp tongue who I totally respect. (She also scares me a teeny bit.)

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m a bit of a computer gamer, a reader, and a reluctant gardener. My girlfriend’s actually the gardener; I’m more the Clydesdale in this arrangement. Lots of wheelbarrowing and hole digging. I have the shoulders for it. I also used to be a bit of a gadget junkie but my splash cash is not what it was now I write full time!

What’s your idea for the perfect day?

There would be long, luscious massages, gooey chocolate fudge, a new sci-fi series with some gorgeous older actress strutting about the ship’s bridge, playing the first lesbian captain, and my publisher telling me I have an extra month’s deadline on my next book. (Doesn’t matter what book it is, we always want another month!)


Australian crime reporter Maddie Grey is out of her depth in New York, miserable, and secretly drawn to her powerful, twice-married, media mogul boss, Elena Bartell, who eats failing newspapers for breakfast. As work takes them to Australia, Maddie is goaded into a brief, seemingly harmless bet with her enigmatic boss—where they have to tell the complete truth to each other. It backfires catastrophically.

A lesbian romance about the lies we tell ourselves.

The novel is available from Ylva and will be available for purchase in other stores on November 29th.


Lee Winter is an award-winning veteran newspaper journalist who has lived in almost every Australian state, covering courts, crime, news, features and humour writing. Now a full-time author and part-time editor, Lee is also a 2015 and 2016 Lambda Literary Award finalist and has won two Golden Crown Literary Awards. She lives in Western Australia with her long-time girlfriend.



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    1 E-book copy of The Brutal Truth

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Thanks so much Lee for stopping by today.

Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway.



About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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